9/3 Recap: Juices flow early as CHL pre-season heats up

The CHL exhibition schedule has opened, and with a Friday trip to Buffalo on the horizon, a couple of Sabres prospects are already sporting their gameface.

Matt MacKenzie recorded an assist and a fighting major Friday as Tri-City opened the WHL pre-season with a 5-2 win over Everett. Things got a little testy in the final minutes after the Ams, who dominated the Tips with 45-14 shot advantage, exploded for four third-period goals to break a 1-1 stalemate. Tips dman Tye Hand ('13) was whistled for boarding with 1:20 to play. Shortly thereafter with just :44 remaining, MacKenzie got into a jousting match with Tyler Maxwell that resulted in a slashing minor, fighting major, and game misconduct.

Both MacKenzie and Riley Boychuk would sit out Saturday as Tri-City used a shootout to edge Portland, 5-4.

Kevin Sundher got his 2011 pre-season off to an interesting start Saturday, collecting a -2 and an ejection as Victoria got throttled by Kelowna, 7-2. Sundher got an early shower when he and Colton Sissons ('12) were tossed for fighting with :21 to play in the opening frame. Sundher had previously served two minutes for an elbow as the Rockets shot out to a 4-0 lead.

Save some of that for Traverse City, boys.

In Saturday OHL action, Steven Shipley did not register a point as Niagara shut out Erie, 2-0. Shipley played as the third line center between veteran David Pacan and 16-year old Trevor Petersen.

As usual, the QMJHL was the first to get running with two weeks of exhibition games already in the books.

On Thursday, Jerome Gauthier-Leduc registered three hits as Rimouski defeated Denmark's U20 squad, 3-1. The 6'2 defender has picked up where he left off last year, scoring a goal and three assists in four pre-season tilts while looking poised to wear a letter on a sweater. The Nics open the regular season Friday against Blainville-Boisbriand, the same day that rookies are scheduled to report to Buffalo for the start of camp.

Cedrick Henley scored his first goal of the pre-season Friday as Val-d'Or lost to Blainville-Boisbriand, 6-3. The marker was Henley's first point in two games thus far (+2, 2 PIM).

***

Sunday scheudule:

Owen Sound (Catenacci) vs. Barrie (Lepkowski, Sutch)
Portland (Boychuk) vs. Spokane
Edmonton (Pysyk) vs. Swift Current
Seattle (Jacobs - not likely) vs. Everett
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